Recently, I had the opportunity to celebrate some amazing people in an amazing place. I flew overseas, learned about new cultures, dined on some amazing food, and saw some gorgeous sights. The most important part of my vacation was that I met some beautiful souls. I believe the stories we shared together was truly an act of fate. I also got to enjoy the Earth’s natural beauty in a new way and I am feeling more in love with this planet than I have before. Now that I’ve had some time to fully (well, sort of) recover from jet lag and unpack, I want to share a few thoughts on what traveling means to me. This is just the beginning of my adventures around this yet vast-yet small in so many ways-world. My time abroad had such a profound impact on me that I need to form all of my love for this world into some words so as not to lose my initial feelings and thoughts.
The saying that kept popping into my mind while I was away, is “Adventure is out there!” from Disney Pixar’s Up. It resonated with me because I kept not believing I was so far away from home, and loving every second of it. Because Disney is obviously such a huge part of my everyday life, this saying really allowed me to feel at home while I was so far away. I was talking with my family on the last day of our trip and I shared with them something that I want to share with you. I think that home can be created depending on who we spending my time with. Home, to me at least, does not need to be a physical structure. Home is definitely more of a concept based on who I’m enjoying my time with. If I have company I love, it’s hard not to feel at home, no matter where I am in this world. So just like Russell and Carl who found home with each other, I feel that the world “must be explored!” Here are just a few of my tips on how to approach your future explorations.
1.) Adventure Truly IS Out There
Adventure is outside your front door-all you have to do is open it. Traveling doesn’t have to cost anything. It can be a trip around a new spot in your town or city. You can even design and customize your dream road trip. There are so many free museums and attractions, plus plenty of natural sights and parks to see everywhere on this Earth. If you do have the money to dedicate to a longer trip, make sure you pick a place that you really want to go to. It doesn’t have to have any connection to you/your ancestors/your background. In fact, it can be a lot of fun to learn about an entirely new place! Maybe you’ve always wanted to visit the pacific Northwest or venture to a quaint town in Germany. I say, do it! Go explore and find beauty in wherever it is that you end up. It is so much easier done than said (you don’t hear that very often!). Sometimes, I get nervous thinking a place won’t live up to the idea in my mind. However, this world astounds me every time, and each place I visit always leaves a place in my heart and mind. Adventure is always calling and it’s worth it to pick up that call. 😉
2.) Everybody Has a Story They Need to Share
Along your adventures, you’ll meet many new people with inspiring stories. Always give everyone you meet a chance. You never know when someone will tell you something you didn’t even know you needed to hear. Often on my recent trip I’d end up chatting with the hotel owners or older couples sitting nearby at breakfast. One small comment could easily turn into a half hour of talking with people I normally would not approach. I ended up laughing and crying with them…and we started out as complete strangers. One woman’s story was even so eerily similar to my family’s that we told each other we knew it was meant to be. You have to be open-minded when you travel. It’s the only way to fully absorb the experience. Go into your journey with no expectations or limits. You’ll probably make some incredible friends that you would have never met if you didn’t book your trip. No matter how far they may be from your permanent home, you’ll always hold them in your heart. And even if you’re convinced you’ll never see them again, always know that the way you feel about them is probably similar to the way they feel about you. I left my adventure happily knowing that I made a positive impact on some new people, and I assure you, that thought alone justified the time and effort I made planning the trip.
3.) Don’t Forget your Passport, and A Smile
Traveling makes you realize that this Earth is so great and so tiny at the same time. It is such an amazing thought that you can learn about new cultures, meet beautiful souls, and feel the air, the water, and the heat in an entirely new place to you. Despite the language and accent barriers, and different customs, it is really inspiring to me that you can make friends with anyone on the basis of one thing: a smile. That quote from It’s a Small World is more true than ever to me now: “A smile means friendship to everyone.” A smile is the beginning of barriers being broken. I noticed each time I smiled at the locals, they took that as an invitation to start a conversation. And sometimes my smile invited a simple “hello,” “have a good day,” or even (totally unnecessary!) very kind compliments. Those moments alone made me happy, and they were all started through a universal language.
No matter where our travels take us, it’s important to know that where you end up is where you’re meant to be. Try to always make your journey individual and unique. There’s no need to compare your adventure with someone else’s. For me, I especially find it’s better to not share every bit of your time away with your friends at home. You’ve gone away for a reason, so do your best to unplug, relax, and fully envelop yourself in your amazing adventure. And of course, doing what’s right for you is important, but definitely try to push your boundaries a bit. It makes the car ride, the boat ride, or the flight worth it. Chances are you’ll surprise yourself at your ability to see even more beauty in the world around you. The chances are even higher that, like me, you’ll be bit by the travel bug and the desire to see even more of this world will grow stronger with every second. There is something about craving new human connection and feeling intense self discovery that increases with every trip outside my comfort zone and my hometown. Wanderlust is a real epidemic, and it’s one that is worth catching.
Happy Trails (filled with lots of pixie dust),
The Pixie Dust Princess